I’m constantly trying to reduce processed foods in my diet. In addition to not putting junk in me, I also try to not put junk on me. I have used your basic castile style soap for years. We use no scent laundry detergent. We got rid of any kind of anti-bacterial soap or dish washing liquid years ago. My household is trying to cut down on junk.
In our Twitter feed, one of our followers is a natural deodorant manufacturer. I was checking out their webpage and was interested in their take on a natural deodorant. Basically it was coconut oil, corn starch and baking soda. Seemed simple enough. It included coconut oil. I love coconut oil. It’s lauric acid is antibacterial and antiviral. I searched the internet for homemade deodorant recipes that included those ingredients. I actually had some old Muddy h2o Pit Powder that was mostly corn starch and baking soda and some coconut oil with lemon eucalyptus essential oil that I was trying out as a natural mosquito repellent (don’t bother). I decided well, these are basically the same as the ingredients in the recipes I was seeing online so I figured I would just mix the two together and see how well this stuff worked as a deoderant.
For the first couple of weeks I had no problems! This stuff was awesome! I did not smell even if I had sweated profusely throughout the day. The mixture had kind of a paste like texture that was easy to apply and the coconut oil seemed to melt/absorb into my skin and leave no greasy residue whatsoever. I felt as if I had discovered the all natural solution to stink. I felt bulletproof and smelled great as well. I was so excited about my deodorant.
My Homemade Deodorant Problems
A couple of weeks go by and everything seems well until I wake up one morning with a pain in my armpit. I was getting what looked like a pimple on my right armpit. No big deal, my partner suggested it was an ingrown hair. It sure looked like it. Except it was really kind of sore and painful. And red. Angry red. After a few days if went along its pimply course and I thought it was all over. The pain subsided and I figured that was the end of that.
About a week later, I was waiting for the hard mass of the pimple to go away and I woke up to the pain in my armpit again. Upon investigation I now had two bumps/lumps/pimples/whatever they were in my armpit. At this point I began to wonder if I might be having a reaction to what fragrances might be in the Muddy h20 Pit Powder. It surely couldn’t be the all natural coconut oil, baking soda or corn starch.
I stopped using the deodorant around this time and went back to my time tested Tom’s of Maine deodorant. A few days later I had at least six bumps starting to sprout under my arm. This was getting serious. And painful. These bumps were swelling up and were stretching my skin to the point that moving my arm was pretty irritating. And pretty gross looking as well. Just Google image search “bumps under arm” and you’ll get the point. I was a little beside myself. I didn’t want to go to the doctor unless I had to. (I don’t have much faith in the medical system at this point unless I’m having an emergency or need an operation in which case I think western medicine does pretty good.)
My Homemade Deodorant Problems Solved?
I was pretty convinced that the deodorant I had made was the cause of all of this. I started using this new awesome deodorant and got some painful bumps where I applied it. Therefore, the paste was the cause of the bumps. I remembered from the original manufacturer’s webpage a mention of detoxing. Basically the idea was that some individuals had a physical reaction to natural deodorants because the natural deodorant was pulling all the poison that had accumulated in one’s body over the years to the surface and was being expelled. Basically, it was my fault that I was having a reaction because my body was so unpure….. Well, some searching led me to a post on lisaliseblog.com titled “Why Your DIY Baking Soda Deodorant is Causing a Skin Reaction”.
Huh. Imagine that. The post explains that baking soda has a ph of around 8.3 and most skin friendly stuff has a ph of 4.5 to 5.5. So, it seems like I was creating a pretty bad ph imbalance for my armpits at the very least. I had sprouted a whole family of bumps under my arm of all sizes. The first thing I did was to keep a lemon with me and rub lemon juice on the area to try and get the ph back to where it should be. I also hoped it would help a little if these things had any chance of getting infected. In addition to the lemon juice I also applied coconut oil. It helped soothe the pain and with it’s antibacterial and antiviral properties I figured it couldn’t hurt.
So….What’s The Homemade Solution?
Eventually things started getting back to normal to my relief. The message was obvious to most except me: “just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s safe”. As for a homemade deodorant that won’t cause you pain, there is a great looking recipe on LisaLise’s page I’ll be trying. Go to http://www.lisaliseblog.com/2013/05/how-to-diy-deodorant-without-baking-soda.html to check it out.